Let’s jump right in here and talk about how much bread, ideally, we should or shouldn’t be eating…
My Grandma Norma… most French women… and all of the “naturally thin” folks we know… these are all people who wouldn’t dream of living a life without bread! So how are they all able to stay so slender even though they eat bread on a daily basis? The answers:
1. They eat just enough bread (or any food, for that matter) to satisfy their hunger.
2. Also, bread isn’t usually the star of the meal, rather, an accompaniment. A bowl of soup with a slice of bread and a piece of fruit is a very satisfying meal for these types of people.
3. They also have no problem leaving a quarter of a piece of bread on their plates if they get to a point where they’ve had enough to eat and don’t feel the need to finish it.
4. They never deprive themselves of the foods they want, but rarely eat when they aren’t hungry.
5. Lastly, if they don’t really want bread, they won’t eat it.
But there is no reason why each of us can’t be the same way. Learning to listen to your body’s true needs and hunger is something we can all adopt with time and practice.
For those of us who would like a little more guidance for the time being, here are a couple of tips for ideal bread portions:
1. Aim to make bread an accompaniment, not the star of the meal. For example, at lunch, have a big salad loaded with vegetables, fruit, lean protein and some nuts with a piece of bread on the side. Btw – Remember to skip the croutons! Some salads come with enough croutons to equal two slices of oily white bread.
2. Aim to have no more than two servings of grains or grain containing foods (like bread) per day.
3. One slice of bread for women and two for men is a good, general serving size for the average man or woman. Ladies – craving a sandwich? Opt for a half along with something else such as a bowl of broth-based soup, or go for an open-faced version of the sandwich.
As always, perfection not required.
Bread Served in Restaurants
Oh boy… who doesn’t love the sight of a breadbasket coming to your table while dining out? Believe me, I love it just as much as the next person. But as you might guess, I have personal guidelines for how to handle this situation, as well:
1. First and foremost, make sure the bread is worth it. Plain, white, stale bread with no soul is NOT worth it. You know the bread I’m talking about, right?! Save the calories and room in your stomach for something better.
2. Come to the conclusion that the bread is worth it? Commit yourself to having just one piece.
3. If you’re dealing with big rolls or large slices, eat just half of one or share a piece with the person you’re with. Sharing food is an awesome way to cut back on portions.
4. If there are a couple of varieties in the basket to choose from, go for the darkest one that has the potential to offer some real nutritional value.
5. If the only bread offered is white in color, eat it with a teaspoon or so of olive oil or butter to help reduce the blood sugar spike that the white bread would cause if eaten solo.
Pheww!! Ok, between the two posts, that was a lot of info on BREAD. Can you tell I’m passionate on the subject? I must share one last thing, however: Anytime you are about to eat bread, particularly if it’s something out of the ordinary, be sure to appreciate not only it’s flavor, but the smell and the texture, too… especially if it is being served fresh and warm….
Taking the time to smell freshly baked bread before having a bite makes the experience all that much better! I’m sure anyone who has made fresh bread at home knows what I’m talking about here… bread machine, anyone?
In case you missed it! Here’s Part 1 – The Proper Way to Eat Bread: Buying it For the Home